Tuesday, September 23, 2014

The Next Big Shale Formation And The Germans

The Utica is starting to blow up.  The last I checked, the rig count was below 50 but with Aubrey McClendon's new company, American Energy Group, looks like they are going all in on the Utica.  Other companies appear to be planning for large operations in the area such as Eclipse and Hess.  The Utica, along with the Niobrara, could be the next wave in oil investment booms in the US.

Also, Siemens, the German rival/equivalent of General Electric, has agreed to purchase US pumping specialist Dresser-Rand.  The move should give the German company a foot in the door in the US onshore shale boom.  This is perhaps both a politically and technologically strategic move.  It gives Germany room to operate away from Russian gas in the future, may allow Germany to reduce its dependence on coal, and open the Germany economy to modern oil and gas technology.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

American Diet: Chinese Edition

I've heard that American fast food is catching on like wildfire in China.  The Chinese may becoming more obese and diabitic as a result (just like their 'Murican counterparts).  From Adam Minter:

China is now home to a quarter of the world's diabetes sufferers. That amounts to more than 100 million people -- nearly 12 percent of the population. And according to The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology, the British medical journal which last week published a three-part series on Chinese diabetes, the patient pool is almost certain to expand dramatically. More than 600 million Chinese suffer from prediabetes, a condition in which individuals exhibit elevated blood sugar levels that can spark Type 2 diabetes if not treated. 
These are epidemic conditions, and China is going to have an even harder time getting its crisis under control than the U.S. (where 9.6 percent of the population suffers from diabetes) and other developed nations. Genetic and other biological factors make Chinese "particularly susceptible" to Type 2 diabetes, the Lancet study's authors write. And the country's healthcare system, already struggling to provide affordable access to hundreds of millions of uninsured rural residents, isn’t anywhere near ready to care for tens of millions of chronic disease sufferers. Diabetes treatment in China currently focuses on managing complications and end-of-life care. According to some estimates, the disease could consume more than half of China's health-care spending if all patients were to receive routine, state-funded care. 
Indeed, diabetes has the potential to cause the kinds of social and economic upheaval more commonly associated with infectious diseases. “In a country that has gone from economic strength to strength,” the Lancet writes in an editorial accompanying the series, "the diabetes epidemic can now be viewed as a measureable hurdle to achievement of further growth and stability.”